Saturday, November 30, 2013

Nihongo (Japanese) word of the day Kyudosha (investigator)

"Whenever you get discouraged look up and say it is going to be a great day!"

Happy Thanksgiving!!! :)
I hope all of you had a wonderful day!! I know my Thanksgiving was one I will never forget!! It was so wonderful, but we will get to that is a min... First the Day to day update. 
Monday: All the Sisters our Branch had FHE together!! :) It was so wonderful. We ate treats and read "You are special." Such a GOOD book! I will send pictures. I am so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people.
Tuesday: Happy Birthday mom!! :) So this week we started teaching each other. We all had to create and become an Kyudosha (investigator) and then each of us as companions were assigned someone to teach. My comp and I are being taught by the trio of elders in our branch and then we are teaching the Other shimaitachi. :) It is so cool! You learn so much about teaching simply so that they will be able to understand. It is SO great. I love it and I learn so much from the chorotachi and Shimaitachi in my district. We are like one big family. They for sure have become some of my best friends. Devotional that night was good. :) A member of the Seventy came. I don't remember everything he said but whenever a they come they bring such a spirit with them. I love it so much!!
Wednesday: My journal was written like the scripture that day. I wish I could copy and paste it to show you. We were all so excited for thanksgiving we went a little crazy. :) Being in the MTC for a month will do that to you. Good thing I only have ONE MONTH LEFT!! YAY!!! :) HALF WAY!! Anyway Wednesday was a good day. We really studied hard and I really felt the blessings from it. I love the Japanese language. Did you know that?? haha :) But really I feel so blessed that the lord trusts me enough to learn it and to learn it well and to teach his children. I mission is the best calling in the world. I am so excited to go to Japan. Our Sensei(s) this week have been talking a ton about their missions and Japan and it just makes me so excited to go!! They people there are SO ready to hear the gospel!! And Some of them are SO prepared!! :) And the culture and food sound so amazing!! :) 
Thursday: THANKSGIVING!! :)
It was such a good day and I have so much to tell you so hopefully I will touch on all of it. So first Elder Russell M. Nelson came and spoke!! IT WAS SO GOOD. He talked about the importance of becoming best friends with the Ward mission leader and Family History consultant in whatever ward you serve in. (I thought of you mom) Those two people are the keys to helping you reach out to gods children. People really have a desire to know where they come from and who they are and especially the family history consultant can help with that. After his talk we had time to write letters and read and study for a bit. Then we ate a pretty descent Thanksgiving Lunch. For the MTC it was good! They even had bacon in the green beans... haha :) Lunch we packed sack dinners and then had more time to write and study. Dinner then was eaten in our classrooms....haha It was okay. I will send pictures. But the funniest thing happened.... So the trio of elders thought it would be funny to stick a fake rat in my bag. And so during Dinner I reached into my bag to grab out my camera and I felt something nasty. I pulled out my hand and looked and saw this nasty rat in my bag. I looked at my comp and was like "ew what is that?" Funniest moment of my whole life.... She screamed at the top of her lungs and ran out of the room. I was on the ground laughing so hard. I was dying!!! haha Because of the scream all the people on our floor came to see what happened. It was the funniest moment. Totally made the whole day that much better!! I was legit scared when she screamed though...haha :) It was so funny though. (There are pictures of "Remmy" the rat below. He has scared a lot of people these past few days...haha) It was so great to just have time to take a break from studying Nihongo. :) haha After we had a really cool Humanitarian devotional. The Helping Hands Program in the Church is AMAZING!! If you haven't heard about it go look it up. We watched a video about the church helping in New york after the Huge storms there. It was amazing. Just by looking at how much the church does world wide concerning service and giving donations.... There is no way the the Lords Hand is NOT in this work. The truthfulness of the gospel is manifest in EVERYTHING that the church does. It is subarashi! :) (wonderful) We were then privalegde to participate in a HUGE service project. We filled 360,000 Soup bags/meals to be given to children in Utah who don't have food at home on the weekends. :) IT WAS SO FUN!!!! I LOVE DOING THAT TYPE OF STUFF!! we did is assembly line style and I was the one who sealed all the bags. IT was the best job. My group filled 9 boxes of 96 soup bags. And each soup bag contains 3 servings. :) or something like that. I don't know all the facts but it was so cool!! :) We then got to watch "Ephraim rescue" Which is a great movie :) Then we went to bed. It was great! 
Friday: Nothing exciting.... haha :) Just learned lots of Nihongo and read the scriptures. Oh but they turned the Christmas lights on!!! :) It is magical here at night!! :) I love the MTC and all I am learning here. 
Read the Book of Mormon everyday!! It really does bless lives. :) I am really learning to be humble. I am learning so many of my weaknesses everyday but then as I learn more about the gospel and the atonement I am filled with hope to know that it is okay to be weak. The lord promises that he will make weak things strong as we turn to him. Turn to the lord in all that you do. Don't forget to look up and be happy! :) "Whenever you get discouraged look up and say it is going to be a great day!" Brother Willis told me that. He is in our Branch Presidency. He also is President Hinckley's Nephew!! :) He looks a lot like him and he is Such a good and sweet man! I have learned a lot from him. But the most important thing is to look up! :) Everyday! Look at the sky and feel the love that Heavenly Father has for you and all of his children. He has blessed us so much. Oh and if you get the chance read the talk by President Monson About Gratitude. It is form the 2010 october conference I think. SO GOOD!!! It has become one of my all time favorites :)
I love you all and pray for you everyday! Have a wonderful week and enjoy the pictures :)
Love, Ashby Shimai

アシベ姉妹 Ps This is what my name tag is going to look like in Japan!! SO COOL HUH?!?! :)
A-Shi-be Shi-mai :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sister's in Hannah's branch leaving for Japan

SURBARASHI SENSEIS - Wonderful Teachers

"Some blessings take a while to come, but to those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ THEY COME." -Jeffery R. Holland

My Dearest Family,
This week has been one of blessings. That means it was a hard one....haha but one that showed me how blessed I truly am to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints. This gospel and the knowledge of who we are and WHOSE we are is the happiest thing in the world. (Thanks mom....haha I stole that from your letter ;) As it is the best holiday of the year this next week I am going to focus on the blessings part of my week. :) Cause EVERY DAY we are SO blessed. Especially as missionaries... and then I will tell you all about how flippin AMAZING my Thanksgiving is going to be!! hah :)
Saturday: I am grateful for my Companion P. Shimai :) My companion is seriously such an amazing person. I wish I could tell you all that happened that day, but it is kind of a lot. (I wrote a letter to nicole about it and so you can ask her.) She showed me how truly important that work we are doing here is and the importance of not forgetting who you are and what you are here to do.
Sunday: I am grateful for the gift of the holy ghost. Have you ever really thought about how having the precious gift of the Holy Ghost has changed your life. We taught a lesson on Sunday to our District about the Holy Ghost and all the ways that it influences our lives. IT WAS SO GREAT!! It is SO much easier to teach in Ego (English) Vs. Nihongo (Japanese)....haha :) The Spirit was so strong we watched a Mormon message about the spirit. I cant remember what it was called.... so just go watch some of them... I am sure they are ALL good...haha :) That night we said goodbye to all the Sisters from are branch that were leaving. We sang hymns and prayed together. Again the spirit was so strong. God puts people into our lives for a reason. We can learn something from EVERYONE we come in contact with. Look for the good in people. These Sisters truly changed my life. They showed so much love in ALL that they did to EVERYONE they came to know. I love them and will truly miss them all they will be amazing missionaries. 
Oh side note.... haha So every Sunday night we get to watch a movie.. and last Sunday we watched "legacy"  It was great... that movie is so cheesy. But it really made me miss you guys.... some of the lines... oh man I was just dying. Or the part were the wagons pop up on the horizon and the sun is going down... hahahha :) yeah it was great! Oh and the devotional that night was given by Mary Ellen Edmunds. SHE WAS SO FUNNY!! like so funny and such an amazing person!! 
Monday: I cant really remember Mondays... haha it is always a blurr..... :) But I am grateful for 8 hours of sleep. That night was the first night I didn't got to bed at 10:30 and boy do you feel it when you have a long day. hahaha
Tuesday: I am grateful for the power of the priesthood. So one of my roommates got sick this week. She just had a really bad cold. She was able to receive a blessing and it was so cool to watch the elders in my district give one too her. My companion also received a blessing of comfort and peace that day with all that she has been going through. It was amazing. The Priesthood power is real!
Wednesday: I am grateful for my weaknesses. Wednesdays are always the hardest day of the week for us....... You would think is would be Thursday because we have like 6 hours of class in a row... but no it is Wednesdays. We taught a lesson and it didn't go very well. We learned a TON though that day. My brain hurt...hah :) It is amazing how many weaknesses I have.... I have so much to learn and sometimes it gets discouraging to think about all I have to become to be an effective missionary, but then I remember that the lord only requires your best effort. My dear friend Katie Parker sent me a letter yesterday that had a cool poem in it titled "After all we can do" by Robbie Pierce. Read it. It is really good. :) But it just reminded me that the lord will make up the rest. We just need to do our best and leave the rest to him. He will help you and shape you into the person he needs you to be if you are willing to give yourself to him. 
Thursday: WHAT A GREAT DAY!!! I am grateful for SURBARASHI SENSEIS!!!!!!! I have the BEST teachers here at the MTC. But really they are amazing. Two of them actually knew Jared Hall and lived with him while they served in Tokyo. And Another one of them served with Jackson Healy and Adam Day in Kobe. Small world. They are all such different teachers but so good at teaching the gospel and Nihongo. I love it!!! :) And they are pretty Hilarious. We have a great time in class :) it is SUBARASHI!!! (wonderful) 
Friday: I am grateful for the wonderful language of............. JAPANESE of course!!!! You weren't thinking I was going to say english... I mean english is a hideous language... hahahha ;) The power of praying in Japanese is so cool. Yesterday we learned different ways to say things in our prayers in Japanese so they were the same all the time. My Sensei shared a story about how it was when he made the decision to pray only in Japanese on his mission that the language really started to come. I am really trying to do that but sometimes it is hard cause my mind just starts speaking ego to me and I am like STOP.... I am called to speak Nihongo... not ego... :) but I am getting better so don't worry. :)
Saturday: I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR THE TEMPLE!!! :) So today is my last day that I will go to a temple in Utah for 1 year and 6 months... :( I am sad but so grateful for the opportunity to have been able to go while here at the MTC. It has been such a source of comfort and peace and a chance to just get away from the MTC and breathe. Sometimes after you have been in the MTC for 4 weeks you kind of want to see what the world looks like outside of the tan brick walls and blue carpet.... hahaha :) I love the MTC though so no worries. But go to the temple this week if you can!! It will bless your life more than you know. :)
So THANKSGIVING!!!! we get to have a general authority come... Most likely a member of the 12 and we get to watch Ephraim s rescue!! and do a service project and all this other fun stuff!! I am SO excited!! :) Even though I will miss all of you so much I guess this is the next best place to be. right?
Always remember I love you and pray for you every day!!! :) The Church is true and the book is blue. Read the Book of Mormon every day!! :) Trust in the Lord, out your will inline with his and he will bless you. These are all the things I am learning everyday.... and boy do I have a lot more to learn!! It is a happy time to be alive. Have a great week! 
Ai shite imasu!! :) (this is the correct spelling I learned this week ;)
Love, Ashby Shimai
PS. My name Hannah in Japanese Hana means flower or blossom.... cool huh?!? :)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Pictures sent Nov. 16 - that's my girl

What another Great Week at the dear ol' MTC! haha and trust me some of the buildings are OLD!! I am living in 5M and my classes are all in 7M. 7M has all the Asian Forgien languages in it so it is fun! :) But it still has chalk boards and old desks.....haha :) we try to make the most of it! This week we had the amazing opportunity of having Elder L. Tom Perry come for Tuesday Nights Devotional!! Let's just say Tuesdays was by far the best day of the week. I was able to sing in the choir. And that is so LUCKY because when an apostle is coming everyone tries to sing in the choir. There were probably at least 100 missionaries that came to choir practice that couldn't sing cause there wasnt enough room. It was such a great experience. This Devotional was broadcasted to 5 of the MTCs around the world including the Phillipines! Oh and mom yes I heard about the Typhoon. We have been praying like crazy for the missionaries and people there. L Tom Perry told us of some of the miracles that happend in order to make sure the Missionaries there were safe. I would tell you the stories, but I only have so much time. Anyway... The best part of the devotional was when Elder Perry walked in the room. There have been very few times in my life where I have felt the spirit that strong. He talked about the importance of a Compaionship and how our missions are not only blessing othres lives, but also preparing us for so much more. It was a wonderful devotional. 
The spirit here at the MTC is amazing!! Then you take that spirit and add the presence of an Apostle to it. Talk about chills all over!!! It was amazing. It was one of those moments where I couldn't stop smiling. The happiness and peace that comes from feeling the Spirit is indescribable and irreplaceable. We all should strive to feel the spirit at all times and in all things and in all places. My companion taught me something really cool this week about the the spirit. Go look up the word "earnest" in the Bible Dictionary. It talks about how the spirit is a little piece of how we will feel in god presence. IT is SO WONDERFUL!! Time flies here at the MTC. This week I forgot my journal so I cant really give you a day by day cause it is so hard to remember all that happened. Sorry about that but I will do my best to tell you all that I can!
On monday all of the "Daisenpai" (Older missionaries) are leaving... I am so sad to see them go. They have changed my life in so many ways and have become such good friends. I will attach some pictures. Oh and Last sunday all of our mission wore red, white, and black for our mission colors day! :) It was fun and we took pics at the temple so I will send some of those pictures too. 
The Japanese is coming along. I have learned so much in just three weeks it is so crazy! I love Japanese!! There are so many things to learn still though so pray that I will be able to learn to the best of my ability! :) 
Well that is all I can really remember for this week!! I will try better next week to do a day by day cause it makes my letters so much more orangized...haha :) Thank you for all of the love, letters, and prayers. I love them and need them!! 
I know that this church is true and that god loves us so much! 
Have a wonderful week! I love and miss you all so much!
Ai Shitte Masu!! :) 
Love, Ashby Shimai.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Missionary badge

Konnichiwa Kazoku! :)
What a wonderful week it has been! I pretty much love and adore the MTC. The mission though has proven to be the biggest roller coaster of my life. It is wonderful one hour and then the rest you get discouraged cause you can't understand any of the Japanese your "investigator" is speaking, and then you meet some actual Nihon Sisters and you are so happy to meet them cause they are from Japan, and then you realize you can't understand what they are saying either. :) Let's just say that was my whole week. haha But it is so wonderful cause the Lord it teaching me so much. I feel like I have grown so much in just 1 1/2 weeks. :)
Thank you for all of the letters and packages!!! It is the best day ever when you get a letter here at the MTC and then we you wake up on P-day and see 14 EMAILS!!! and you get 2 packages. :) let's just say today has been wonderful!! I love hearing all about how everyone it doing. And pictures are always fun! 
So let's talk about my week:
Sunday: First no one told all the new sisters that it was Daylight Savings...... and it isn't like we remember those types of things I mean we had only been here 4 days. So we all woke up thinking it was 6:30 when it was really 5:30....hahahah :) Funniest moment when we found out an hour later...hah :) But it was fast Sunday and we were fasting as a district to be able to learn the language. It was amazing. That Sunday really helped our district to unite and now we are all the best of friends. Devotional was great. One of the old MTC presidents came and spoke. After devotional we watched the Christmas MTC devotional by David A. Bednar titled "Character of Christ". If you haven't heard it YOU HAVE TO LOOK IT UP. It is so powerful. He talks about the importance of giving and serving as Christ did. :) Sundays are the best!
Monday: I don't remember a ton from Monday.... sorry. Class and class and more class... ?? ;)
Days here go by slow but weeks seem to fly...haha
Tuesday: I really learned a lot Tuesday. I learned the importance of not comparing my self to others. But it really is an important thing. God has given us all things to accomplish here on this earth and he has given you the means to accomplish it so don't worry about the talents and abilities you see others have that you lack. You have what you need and the Lord will make up for what you lack. :) A very important thing to learn especially when everyone else in your Nihongo class seems to be speaking so well and you only have been learning Nihongo for a week.... Devotional was amazing on Tuesday too but I don't have a ton of time..... :) BUT FUN FACT!!!! L. Tom Perry is coming Tuesday for Devotional!!!!!! Yeah we are all pretty Excited!! :)
Wednesday: We taught our progressing investigator who is also our other teacher. It was amazing though! Padelsky Shimai Shared an experience and I totally almost cried. The spirit was so strong. I just love my comp. She is so wonderful. We work really well together and balance each other out. Companionship's are truly inspired. Also we read the 1 chapter of 1 Nephi together and all of the gospel principles just popped out. Reading the scriptures is amazing. Here I have learned so much about effective scripture study. 
Thursday: Not going to lie it was a long day. I really realized I have so much to learn. Kind of discouraging.
Friday: Prayers are answered. Since Thursday was kind of hard I prayed that night that I would be able to see the results of my studying and see just a glimpse of what the gift of tongues really means. And boy Friday was the best!!! :) and no I wasn't able to speak Nihongo perfectly... But during class that day for the first time I was able to create sentences on my own and kind of start to bear my own testimony instead of just reading things from a book. It was so wonderful. The lord is mindful of us and helps us see that he is the true source of power in the world. :) It was the best day! :) 
Okay so I just love my Branch. I am surrounded by the best people. The Shimaitachi (sisters) are so sweet and I just love them and we just laugh all day long. Well.... we appropriate ;) It is wonderful. They have such strong testimonies and are always helping us Kohai (new Japanese speaking missionaries) to feel loved. 
Oh I feel like I have so much more to tell you but I am running out of time. :)
I love you all thank you for all the letters, packages, emails, support, and love. I pray for you all multiple times a day. :) I love you with my whole heart and soul. Almost as much as I love the Gospel :) haha Have a wonderful Week!! I can't wait to hear from you soon! 
All my love! Ai Shitte Masu (probably the most said phrase by the Nihongo missionaries It is the best! there is a lot of love here)  :) 
Ashby Shimai

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Hello Family and Friends,
Well I did it! I made it through the first few days at the MTC and what an adventure they have been. I have had so much fun, but I will be honest It is no walk in the park. 
Day 1:
After you dropped my off we went through check in and Sister Hyde, Sister alldregde and Sister Judd all checked me in!! It was the best thing ever. :) and all by chance. Then we got our twenty pounds of books and went straight to class, where Hansen Sensei spoke only Japanese for the whole 3 hours. Okay so he did say a few words in English. It is really weird when he does speak English in class cause most of the time it is straight Nihongo. :) And I love Nihongo (Japanese) It is a flippin hard language and as much as I try to remember words I cant....haha But I love it! I cant wait until I can just go off and sound like a Japanese person. My companion is Padelsky Shimai. She is wonderful and so much fun! She is from Syracuse Utah and 19 years old. We have a lot of fun together. We are completely different people yet we have a lot in common. :) There is a picture attached. ALL the sisters in my district are half Nihongo. :) crazy huh? and then there are 5 elders. They are wonderful people! Anyway....back to the day. We had a cool teaching experience. We had the opportunity to watch and participate in teaching someone the gospel. It was really cool. It is amazing how fast you can feel love for a person. That night I was so tired. It was such an emotionally, physically and spiritually exhausting  day. For sure the first day was the hardest.
Day 2: I actually cant really remember all that we did Thursday...... HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! haha it was kinda blur..... we were in class for like 6 hours,... haha :) but is was fun to learn the language more. 
Day 3: WE TAUGHT OUR FIRST LESSON IN NIHONGO!!!! :) Hardest thing I have ever done... but it actually went really well. We could really feel the spirit and we were for sure being guided by the spirit in what to say to her, cause we had no idea what she was saying. We were able to understand very minimal. But it was really cool. We will teach her again today about the Plan of Salvation. So hopefully that will go better. 
Day 4: P-DAY!!!! Aka the best day ever at the MTC!!!! except the computers were down all morning so we couldn't check our emails until now.... and it is so sad when you open your email and you have NO EMAILS......... The best part of the day becomes the worst......hahah So step it up AND EMAIL ME!!!!! Cause I have a whole hour!! :) And I really want letters and emails and such. Oh and send pictures!! I will always have Saturday as my P-day and I will usually get on either in the morning or after the temple. :) I get to go to the temple today and I am so excited!! :)

Well that is all I really have about my first few days. This church is so true. I Know it! I love it! and I LOVE IT!!!!! My testimony with in the last few days has increase so much!!! :) I love the gospel and I know that as I am obedient the lord will bless me! :) ps... I can kind pray in Japanese now so that is really cool. I love NIHONGO and I know the lord will help me learn this language. I love you all!
Ai Shitte imasu! (I love you)
Love, Ashby Shimai